Kevin Durant Says He Thinks LeBron James Will Stay with Cavs on Bill Simmons Pod

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2017

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors shakes hands with LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 in Game 5 to win the 2017 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 12, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant is betting LeBron James will stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers beyond this season—literally.      

In the second part of a two-hour conversation on The Bill Simmons Podcast posted Monday (h/t Uproxx's Robby Kalland), the reigning NBA Finals MVP said he thought James would stay put despite rumblings that he could bolt for Los Angeles. 

"I personally always said he was staying," Durant said. "I told him this. That's me. I feel like he's going to end it in Cleveland. That's his crib now. He run it, and he gonna turn it into something mega when he's done. He's going to do something."

Simmons proceeded to prompt Durant with a dinner bet, which the forward accepted, after stating he thinks James will land in Hollywood. 

Durant's opinion runs counter to the ones harbored by numerous NBA officials.

According to Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher, "the prevailing sentiment among the league executives" is that James will decline his $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season and explore his options. 

One Eastern Conference general manager told Bucher it was a "foregone conclusion," while a Western Conference scout stated LeBron will be "out."

In the meantime, James has set his sights on helping the Cavaliers rip off their fourth straight Eastern Conference title. 

"LeBron remains deeply committed to this organization," general manager Koby Altman said in July, per's Joe Vardon. "He remains deeply committed to this team and deeply committed to this city. He has deep roots to this city. And it means a lot to him to be here and compete for championships for years to come. That's his goal, and so we have shared goals."